Thursday, September 18, 2014

Painting without painting; bleeding tissue paper

In the summer of 2013, the kids and I took a two week long road trip from our home in Seattle, to my best friend's house in Colorado, then down to Las Vegas to visit our family and then back up to Seattle.  It was INSANE and INTENSE but it was so much fun!  People thought I was crazy, and really I was, but it was such a great experience!

On of the things we did while we were visiting in Colorado was my friend took us to this botanical garden where they just happened to have an art festival going on.  Naturally, I was in heaven.  They had a kid's craft too so of course, Lucy did it!  It was so much fun too.  They showed her that she could draw a picture using oil pastels and when she was done, they told her to lay this tissue paper on top and afterwards they gave her a spray bottle to spray it will.  The tissue paper bled onto the picture but because water and oil repel each other, the color from the tissue paper didn't cover the oil pastel drawing.  IT WAS AMAZING!

When we got home, I couldn't stop thinking about this project.  I went through my gift wrap supplies box and pulled out all our tissue paper and tried to replicate it AND.IT.FLOPPED.  The tissue paper I had didn't bleed.  It didn't do what it did in Colorado.  Surely, this magical tissue paper couldn't ONLY be sold in Colorado.

In natural stalker style, I called the botanical gardens in Colorado and asked them if they knew what was used.  They could only tell me they didn't know because the booth was run by an outside service. I was devastated, but I was not deterred.  I started using the Googles and searched all kinds of things like "oil pastels and tissue paper" "coloring with oil pastels and spray bottles" etc.  Nothing gave me what I was looking for.

I went to my local craft store and asked for tissue paper that would bleed when wet and they looked at me like I had two heads.

Finally, out of desperation, I looked up on Amazon for bleeding tissue paper.  Suddenly, as if in a movie, the clouds parted and light shown down from the heavens above and it was there, ready to order, on Amazon.  I couldn't believe that was all it took.

I ordered it right away and as soon as it arrived (thank goodness for Prime 2 day shipping), I ripped a piece off and put it on a piece of paper and sprayed water on it and OHH EEEMMM GEEEEE!!!  IT WORKED!

I quickly put it on my schedule for my Girl Scouts crafts and wanted to only use bleeding tissue paper to color everything!  But I didn't, don't worry.

Then, this week, Lucy was sent home with a homework assignment to paint a rainbow.  The instructions said to "think outside the crayon box" and use other supplies around the house, like string, or beads.....or in our case BLEEDING TISSUE PAPER!

I wrote Lucy's name in white oil pastels on the paper and then she laid the tissue paper in ROY G BIV fashion on her paper. I handed her the squirt bottle and she went to town. And our final result was amazing and fun and DIFFERENT!  Of course it kinda looks like water paints, but the secret is IS THAT IT ISN'T!

I am probably most excited about this project because I had never seen anything like it and the fact that I actually had to try and search and investigate to get the supplies I needed make it so much more fun to me! And I get to pass this secret along to you!  You won't have to struggle like I did to find the supplies, I have linked them all right here!  I can't wait to see what you do with it when you make your own!  Make sure to post them to my Facebook page or tag me on Instagram and use the hashtag #bleedingtissuepapercrafts

Seriously, I really want to see what you come up with so make sure to come back and share it with me!

**Caution, bleeding tissue paper WILL STAIN pretty much anything it touches, so please prep your work site and clothing appropriately.

This post contains affiliate links, please help support this blog and order your supplies through the links provided.


  1. Very Clever!!!.......And your helper is just the cutest!!!!!

  2. Do you think it would work on a canvas? Maybe my oldest can do some of her own art for her room.


  3. Great new project for the grandkids. I never think of trying Amazon first, but I'm learning...

  4. How pretty! When I first tried something like this ours didn't bleed either. Ugh! So frustrating to not have the right supplies!


Leave me some love! I read them all and it always makes me feel warm and fuzzy when people comment!